Posts Tagged ‘Presence’

Poetry Friday round-up is with Kay at A Journey Through the Pages.


I’ve had a lot of time lately to look out the window.  A hard freeze blew through the deep south, and gifted me with time alone at home on the bayou.  The winter bitter winds do not scare away the water wading birds.  They must be covered in some powerful down.  I’ve watched a particular blue heron, an occasional great white egret, and this morning, a family of wood ducks.

Watching the bayou inspires me to write poetry.  If you come by my blog often, you know this is my ongoing topic.  My blog title, Reflections on the Teche, is informed by the Bayou Teche (pronounced “Tesh”)

Taking a picture of a blue heron is nearly impossible.  They respond to any human activity with flight.  I painted a portrait of one a few years ago after a photo by Ralph Fletcher.  This painting now hangs in my parents’ dining room.

Blue heron painting by Margaret Simon


Heron Watching

I stand still
at the window

Take in slow breath.
No need to pray
when seeing this heron.

He perches,
head down,
beak pointed to

water’s surface
where the sun glimmers
like waves in old glass.

Is it a minnow,
mosquito, moth?
I focus on the horizon,

what his patience
invites me to see?

Margaret Simon, 2018

My One Little Word for my writing life is Present.  I want to show up to the page every day.  I wrote a post for TeachWrite Chat Blog here. I made a Canva image of my goals for being present thinking of the heron in my backyard and his lessons of patience.


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Link ups at Irene Latham's site, Live your Poem

Link ups at Irene Latham’s site, Live your Poem

Being a part of an online blogging community keeps me writing and thinking and reflecting.  Irene Latham asked our Spiritual Journey Thursday group to write a reflection about our One Little Words for 2016.  So here I am… Present.

My OLW for 2016 was Presence.  This word mantra has helped me in many ways this year.  When I’ve been worried, I turned to presence.  When I’ve been celebrating, I turned to presence.  Being with whatever is happening in the moment is a valuable skill, and I am so glad I chose presence this year.  The year I spent two weeks in Africa.  The year my middle daughter got married.  These experiences still live in my heart because I was fully present to them.

But everyday, I have to call myself back to presence.  I take walks alone, valuing time to see things in my world, to focus on the gift of nature.  Sometimes while walking I’ll take out my phone to send a message to someone who has come to mind, or to type a poem or an idea for one, or to take a picture to capture a moment.

Practicing presence fits my personality, too.  I am one of those people who is always on the look out for ways to help others.  While some may think this is a positive trait, it can also lead to burn-out and low self-esteem.  By being present, I take care of myself.  And by taking care of myself, I am better equipped to help others.

I haven’t started thinking about my word for 2017.  I’m not ready to let this one go.  I don’t have to, of course.  I can build on Presence along with Reach of 2015 and Open of 2014.  I enjoy words and playing with words, so this tradition of finding one little word to guide my year is fun and inspiring.  I think deeply about what I really want and the possibilities that are open to me.

Thanks, Irene, for calling me to be reflective about my one little word.


Haiku-a-day #15

Be present today
open to whatever door
Turn the knob, enter

–Margaret Simon

From Richard Rohr's Center for Action and Contemplation

From Richard Rohr’s Center for Action and Contemplation

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